Rain or Shine's Arizona Reid scored 35 points against Alaska in Game 5 of their semifinals series. Photo by Nuki Sabio, PBA Images
MANILA – Rain or Shine struck down Alaska’s gritty stand to pull off a 97-94 Game 5 victory on Saturday night and set up a finals rematch with its old nemesis, Grand-Slam-seeking San Mig Coffee, in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Elasto Painters import Arizona Reid tallied 35 points to go with his 10 rebounds and helped Rain or Shine get the chance to avenge their Philippine Cup title defeat against San Mig Coffee early in the season.
Paul Lee and Gabe Norwood added 10 points each for the Elasto Painters, who were seriously threatened by the Aces when Henry Walker connected a triple that pulled Alaska within 94-95, 23 ticks to go.
But Lee was able to fish a foul off Walker and settled the final scores on the free throw line.
It was a sorry loss for Alaska which was looking for a finals date against their former coach Tim Cone, who now handles San Mig Coffee.
Rain or Shine appeared headed to a trouble-free victory with a comfortable 88-82 lead midway the fourth quarter.
But the Aces, who played minus injured Sonny Thoss, JV Casio and Gabby Espinas, pushed the Elasto Painters to the brink by instigating a run of their own. Walker’s triple eventually trimmed Rain or Shine’s lead to 95-94, 23 seconds before regulation.
But Walker fouled Lee during a mad scramble for the ball, sending the shooting guard to the free throw line where the game’s outcome was decided.
Alaska got 29 points from Walker, while Vic Manuel and Dondon Hontiveros added 20 and 17, respectively.
Rain or Shine will begin their best-of-5 title showdown against San Mig Coffee on Tuesday.
Rain or Shine 97 - Reid 35, Lee 10, Norwood 10, Uyloan 8, Rodriguez 8, Arana 5, Chan 5, Belga 4, Almazan 4, Cruz 3, Tiu 3, Ibanes 2, Teng 0.
Alaska 94 - Walker 29, Manuel 20, Hontiveros 17, Baguio 11, Abueva 9, Dela Cruz 5, Jazul 3, Reyes 0, Belasco 0, Eman 0.
Quarterscores: 29-25, 55-52, 80-77, 97-94